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Workplace Productivity Management, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 345

Essay

At the most basic level, the three most important measurements of workplace productivity are obvious: quantity, quality, and rate of both per employee. The rate will itself depend on factors such as attendance and punctuality, so the interval of productivity will be central to effective management. A employee can have a bad day but a good week.

It should be obvious too that rates of quantity and quality will be dependent on what type of work is being done. It would be pointless to compare the rate and quality of piecework-paid assembly line production with that of a software engineer or technical writer. In the former example, quantity and quality are essentially two different things. A worker can produce a great deal of units and have a relatively small number of defective units. Sometimes the rate of defective units may be lowered by slowing down the line to a point where it is economical to reconcile quantity and quality. But just as often, it will be more economical to accept the current defective rate to protect the higher overall rate of satisfactory unit productivity. However, software engineers or writers will be judged by their completed product. Quantity and quality are expressed as one measurement. In other words, it won’t help them if only one module of code or one page of text was badly written, because each could render their respective projects useless.

One of the central mistakes that managers make is to apply one set of productivity criteria to the wrong kind of work. Thus, in the early days of Hollywood, screenwriters were per paid by the hour and had to punch a time-clock. Reluctantly, the studio moguls realized that writers couldn’t efficiently be paid that way, as the creative process couldn’t be turned on and off at will.

It is vital that managers not interpret productivity reports in a vacuum. This is particularly important when reviewing self-reported data, as in the case of employee logs. Always bear in the mind the difference between data and information, as one is not always the same as the other.

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